The research has come from Feed It Back, a company that collects customer feedback on social media and review sites.
It found the overall satisfaction score of customers is lowest in the evening at 90.8%.
Lunchtime and breakfast scored slightly higher, with customer satisfaction scores ranking at 92.4%, and breakfast day part is 93%.
The company analysed hundreds of thousands of reviews across the restaurant and bar industries, with businesses scored out of five across food, drink, cleanliness, atmosphere, service and value.
By analysing the latest data from leading online reputation specialist, Feed It Back, customers are the most critical during the evening day part.
Atmosphere and value were aspects of an evening that diners found especially ripe to pick flaws in.
The two metrics scored 4.5 and 4.4 out of 5, with complaints about ‘loud music’ featuring prominently on negative review scores.
Feed It Back chief executive Carlo Platia said the key to success was down to tweaking details.
She said: “Knowing the minute details of what your customer wants is the cornerstone of any good business. But this challenge is getting increasingly hard for restaurant and bar operators, with the ever-changing wants and needs of consumers driven by evolving trends and increased competition.
“To help businesses make informed decisions that drive loyalty and return custom, we gather meaningful guest insight through bespoke surveys, which we often enrich with data from social media feeds and review sites.
“The six key metrics listed above give us a solid acid test for how a site is performing and it’s fascinating to see the variance in what customers expect from each day part and how operators should accommodate them.”
Act on feedback
Previous data from the platform showed that the majority of special occasion bookings, including anniversaries or birthdays, are made for the evening.
Platia added: “With this in mind, it’s crucial that operators are acting on the feedback and tweaking elements of their offer, or providing additional training so they can positively influence the customer experience.
“Often, subtle changes to the customer journey, such as turning down the volume of the music a few notches, can have a fundamental impact on whether customers would return.
“The businesses that thrive in the current competitive marketplace will be the ones that succeed in driving loyalty and to do this, particularly across large estates, they will need to harness the power of insight.”
Operators have previously criticised sites such as TripAdvisor for making it difficult to delete unfair or untrue reviews, with some licensees taking matters into their hands and responding creatively.